Monday, August 23, 2010

The Human Factor by Graham Greene

Even Spy Fiction Now Appeals to Me!,

Rating 5 out of 10

If there is one genre which I have had difficulties in understanding, then it's Spy Fiction! Now in the great company of Graham Greene, even this strange genre appeals to me. This is a good book. Someone on Amazon wrote in a review that Greene never wrote a bad book. Is it really true? If so, then that's nothing short of amazing! Greene is somewhat a bit underestimated in the litterary circles, perhaps because he wrote books in popular style. In reality Greene is one of the giants of century litterature.

Brighton Rock by Graham Greene

Man! Greene must have been obsessed with writing books!

Rating 7 out of 10

This is a fine book from Greene. His characters are really impressive. It's amazing to read Greenes' books, they are quite diverse. Didn't he do anything else than write books his whole life?

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Niels Arden Oplev

Doesn't match the book

Movie Review

Rating 6 out of 10

Well this movie is OK, it's well done and all the rest of it. Still the book is much better than the movie. I would have liked a movie in the class of say "Natural Born Killers", I mean that would have matched the book. This movie is just craftsmanship, nothing more.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

An Immortal Character

Rating 6 out of 10

The great beauty of this book is the immortal character of Lisbeth Salander. One gapes in astonisment. How the hell did Stieg Larsson conjure her up? It seems that Lisbeth Salander is timely, she fits perfectly this 90's new millineum zyber girl-power chick, and still she is utterly complex. It's funny with these kind of creations, like Lisbeth Salander, they take on a life of their own, far overshadowing their creator. So yes, Don Quixote, Chaplin's Tramp, James Bond, and... Lisbeth Salander!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

ASP.NET MVC 1.0 Test Driven Development by Emad Ibrahim

Claim your money back!

Rating 2 out of 10

Don't buy this book! This book is full of errors in the extreme! The first chapter dealing with code is chapter 3 starting on page 35. Already on page 56 I gave up reading the book, because I don't wanna spend my time debugging Emad Ibrahims code. In the span from page 35 to page I detected technical errors in the code on page 39, 41, 43, 44, 45, 49, 50, 51! I have submitted these errors to the errata page for the book on So I managed to read 24 pages of the part of the book descibing the code and as said I detected serious technical errors on 8 out of those 24 pages! That gives an error procentage of 33% for the pages describing the code! That's very very Harsh! I don't know too much about the legal issues, but I would guess that we as customers are entitled to have our money returned from this title, there are simply far to many errors in the code to that it is acceptable! I mean it's not that Emad Ibrahim is unknowledgeable, on the contrarary, he is very knowledgeable, but he is just like a happy beaver coding away, not caring about the mess he has left behind. It throws a very dubious light on Emad Ibrahim as a conscientious writer. But especially it throws an enormous dubious light on as a publishing company! How could they release this book? Don't they practice any kind of review on their books? Apart from the errors I have mentioned in the technical code part of the book I also detected an error in chapter 2 on page 34. Ibrahim lists the tools we need to follow along in the book. He recommends that we shall use ReSharper to run our MbUnit tests, but he forgets to tell that you also need to run MbUnit test with ReSharper. Also the source code for this book is badly organized. During the book Emad Ibrahim is constantly refactoring his code, I think it would have been appropriate if there had been a source code for each chapter so that you could easily figure out the present state of the code. Instead the source code has been left as one big chunk, then you have to yourself try to figure out what the code at the present state in the book might look like. Well after all this negativity, proberly the book is ok without all the errors. If you are very skilled you will maybe easily solved the errors and be able to have a good reading experience. But for a less skilled person this book seems to be a real trap!

Signe by Lars Johansson

A Danish-German relationship during WW2

Rating 4 out of 10

This book is a bit boring. Yet it is interesting and in some way it looks like the author is trying to do something new. It's the story about a Danish woman who falls madly in love with a German occupation soldier during the German occupation of Denmark during WW2. She travels to Germany in 1945 and lives there for some years during the fall of the Third Reich. Her German lover is imprissoned and she is raped by an American soldier and that results in a child. The story is based on a true account. In the book there is old photos of the woman, Signe, a natural blonde. She must have been a very good looking woman, but her carreer in Germany in rubbles seems a bit chaotic and unsensible. Well proberly it was quite difficult times.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Time Machine by H. G. Wells

Wells Was Far Ahead Of His Time!

Rating 6 out of 10

This is a cool book from Wells. In it he takes a giant leap into the future, more precisely year A.D. 802701! This is an action packed novel, it's really quite amazing that it was first published all the way back in 1895! Because the action level is equivalent to a Dan Brown novel. Of course Wells is far better than Dan Brown, because Wells is not only action he is also vitamin! The novel ends with the words "in the heart of man". That end is kind of a signature for Wells' work, because he was really curious, and of course the curiousity was particular related to what a human can do? What a human is? What a human can become? What there is in the heart of man?

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells

Invisibility as a Result of Science

Rating 5 out of 10

H.G. Wells was a scientific man. He wrote this book in the burgeoning scientific society (The book is published in 1897), which was to transform the entire world in the century. H.G. Wells was acutely curious about the most far reaching possiblities of science. This book actually ponders upon a scientific theory about making matter invisible. According to this theory matter is visible because it is granulated. Wells gives an example with glass: When glass is whole it is transparent and you can look through it. If you break the class and crushes it into a powder, you granulate the glass and makes it into a white powder, which is not transparent. It is the uneven surfaces of the granules which makes them non-transparent. If you can smoothen these surfaces of the granules you can make matter more transparent. Wells gives an example with paper. We can't look through paper because it is made of tiny paper fragments with uneven surfaces. But if you poor oil on the paper it has the effect of smoothening the jagged surfaces of the paper fragments making up the piece of paper, thus the paper is becoming more transparent. This is fundamentals of the theory which the scientist of the novel, Griffin, uses to make himself invisible.

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Histoical Sentimental Trivia

Rating 4 out of 10

This novel was published in weekly installments. I think Dickens was a bit absentminded in the first two books, because the plot is quite weak and flickering. In book three the intensity grows and resembles more a normal novel. The content of this novel is the most commonplace sentimental trivia. But apparently it has met the tastes of the audience at the time. Dickens is supposed to be a great writer, right? It's quite amazing that he could pour out this kitchy sentimental romantic trivia. Was he just calculating on the limited minds and romantic dispositions of his female audience to increase his sales? Or was he, after all, not that great a writer?

Kitsch; the world of bad taste by Gillo Dorfles

Kitch in a Broader Sense

Rating 5 out of 10

This is an interesting book. It's interesting also by the fact that it was published in the late 60's. Kind of before kitch became too cool. Gillo Dorfles has the interesting view point that kitch is actually a side effect of the industrialized mass production society. The book mentions that the notion of what kitch is changes from time to time. Many of the important rituals surrounding our lives, like wedding, christening, are, according to Gillo Dorfles, actually kitch events. Interesting is it also that totalitarian regimes, like Nazism or communism, most often prefers an artistic expression which is kitch. In modern times it's almost impossible to depict the human body in sculpture without it becomming kitch. Also historic films, especially the somewhat dated history, and historic films about famous persons, almost invariably, becomes kitch. I kind of like kitch, I find it a bit hard to distinguish between "Art" and "Kitch".

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

She is ready : selected works by Kathrine Ærtebjerg

Interesting New Danish Painting

Rating 6 out of 10

Painter Kathrine Ærtebjerg is among the most interesting of the new Danish painters. This book is a collection of her works. The book is provided with essays about Kathrine Ærtebjergs paintings too. One essay is written by Barry Schwabsky, it's a bit too sophisticated for my taste. Another essay is written by Ann Lumbye Sørensen, she is a total bore! By far the best essay on Kathrine Ærtebjergs paintings is the one written by Rune Gade, he is a quite cool art historian with interesting views.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Antichrist by Lars von Trier

Slightly boring

Movie Review

Raing 5 out of 10

This movie was hailed as very controversial, but actually it's only the title which is controversial. In the film itself there is no reference to antichrist. The movie has some beautiful images sometimes, but I must admit that I found it slightly boring. I still wait for the day when Trier wakes up and starts making some see worthy movies, I think he can do it. How about an action movie? I like action movies!

Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens

Dickens' mind was falling apart

Rating 0 out of 10

This is an exceptionally lousy book from Dickens. I read it and understood the words, but I didn't understand anything. It seems like there is no coherence in the book. The numerous characters are just babbling away on their own account, and I couldn't discern any logical progression of a plot. This is the last novel completed from Dickens, I seriously believe he was growing crazy or something at this point, or maybe his mind was just decomposing and falling apart?

While Europe Slept by Bruce Bawer

Strongly Recommended If you wanna know about Europe today!

Rating 6 out of 10

It's a very truthful book Bruce Bawer has written. For me personally there was no new information, because I live in Denmark where we have a quite uncensored media. In other European contries the establishment practises more political correct sensorship upon the media I think, and have even written laws preventing people from expressing the truth. I must admit that I don't quite share Bruce Bawers belief in "The War Against Terror". For example after this so called "War Against Terror" had had it's victory in Iraq, the world witnessed a hitherto unprecedented flood of terror attacks in Iraq! No, the root of terror attacks in the West lies in the muslim immigrant population residing in the west (All Western terror attacks was carried out by Western muslim immigrants).